Owner has ‘no idea’ why truck crashed

Pioneer Energy says it has no idea what led to one of its trucks crashing into the Octagon, in central Dunedin, on Saturday morning, despite police indicating brake failure may have been to blame.

The truck, which was carrying woodchips, careened past the historic Robbie Burns statue before crashing into the covered walkway below about 7.30am.

Yesterday, Senior Sergeant Anthony Bond, of Dunedin police, said the truck’s 32-year-old driver lost control after the brakes apparently failed.

He said the police commercial vehicle investigation unit would be investigating.

Pioneer acting chief executive Jonathan West said it had no information about what caused the crash.

He said after ascertaining no-one was seriously injured in the crash, WorkSafe was informed immediately and was investigating the incident with police and the NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi.

There was also an ongoing internal investigation at Pioneer.

"We have no idea what led to the incident currently," he said.

The truck which crashed in the Octagon on Saturday. PHOTO: ODT FILES
The truck which crashed in the Octagon on Saturday. PHOTO: ODT FILES
The truck was delivering woodchips from the company’s wood hub at Three Mile Hill to the Dunedin Energy Centre in Castle St which supplied heat to the University of Otago and Dunedin Hospital.

"It literally just came over the hill," Mr West said.

An alternative truck was arranged to deliver the wood chips to the centre and operations were not disturbed.

Mr West said the driver was discharged from hospital on Saturday, but he was not sure when he would be able to return to work.

A Dunedin City Council spokesman said a structural engineer had assessed the damage to the pedestrian canopy and it was not at risk of collapsing.

It had been made safe with temporary fencing and signs to keep public away from the affected area.

An assessment of the damage to one of the Octagon’s plane trees would be carried out later this week, he said.

It was too soon to say what the costs of repairing the damage would be.